Bourdain, Ripert Take Out the Knives

161450751db001anthonybour.jpgThe bad thing about accepting a nation’s highest honors—like chef Eric Ripert did when he became a French chevalier—is that it tends to reflect poorly on a whole country when you duck out of major confrontations. Still, if we were faced with disgracing our native land and sitting there while Anthony Bourdain puts you to the screws, we know which way we’d bounce.

Bourdain and Ripert got together February 9 for Good vs. Evil at the Palms, where they took turns playing prosecutor and witness, probing at each other’s weaknesses for a Pearl packed full of foodies. (Standout of the night: Bourdain, while questioning Ripert’s defense of Guy Fieri, asked how the Diners, Drive-Ins and Drives host could possibly “de-douche.” When Ripert countered that Fieri was an entertainer, Bourdain asked him, “Would you eat his food?” … to voluminous silence.)

After the show Bourdain and Ripert did a meet-and-greet at the Palms’ Fantasy Tower along with chefs Kerry Simon, Barry Dakake and Doug Bell of Heraea.

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That Robert De Niro was there with chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa for the February 2 ribbon cutting on Nobu Hotel wasn’t surprising. De Niro co-owns the Nobu restaurants and hospitality group with Matsuhisa. What was surprising is that someone trusted the nearly 70-year-old actor with a samurai sword to do the cutting.

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